Mid-Year Progress

A look at my new-year resolutions so far
Published on 2024/07/01

We've made it through the first six months of the year. There are a few things I learned about myself and some changes I was able to make in my life (and not just write about them). I carried over lessons from past resolutions and figured out that, unsurprisingly, I was setting up myself for failure. This happens in a few ways, from having unrealistic goals to overestimating the amount of time we have available, and to finally not account for burnout.

The one thing I was really happy about from 2023 was hitting my reading goals. Technically I went way above my expectations and hit around 55 books. In the past, I would have pushed this to 60 for the following year, but I won't magically have more time to read books. I instead set a goal of 30. I believe that this is realistic and more in line with the long-term goal of keeping a good reading habit. Overall I've been trying to build new habits and continue to grow. I am exactly halfway through it so my progress is on point.

I also wanted to write more. This hits so many important growth areas including clear thinking, sharing what I learn to potentially benefit others, practicing something I generally enjoy doing, and producing more while consuming less. I made a mistake though, I started too strong and was able to write almost every day. This was somewhat intentional, I was working on creating a habit that felt natural and wanted to slow down later on. To this day I have 88 posts. I am incredibly happy with this progress. Writing doesn't feel like a chore and I wish I had more time to do it. I was able to Trick Myself to Write More early on, and it paid off nicely.

I wanted to focus on health and stop procrastinating seeing a doctor. As a dad, I feel overly responsible for staying healthy and being in decent shape for my little one. I want to be able to play as much as possible with her and for as long as possible. I started pretty well but winter sickness got me good. I had to stop for over a month and this destabilized my new-found habit. This is where Resiliency and Forgiveness played a key role. Instead of considering that a failure, I picked myself up and resumed as soon as I could. Seeing results is also a good motivator to keep going.

It wasn't all positive though and that's ok! I wanted to create longer posts once a month where I would go in-depth about topics I am passionate about. This felt reasonable at first, but I kept accumulating drafts as it was difficult to follow my train of thought by working on them every weekend. I will revisit this either this second half of the year or the next one. The best-case scenario would be an article every quarter but realistically, I would be quite happy with even just 2 every year. I also hit a wall around the end of March. That's when I was recovering from being sick and between that and poor sleep it was hard to stay the course. That's when I started relaxing my expectations to allow myself to recover quicker. Last but not least, I wanted to find a new love for small projects and software engineering in general. I still have mixed feelings about it, I was able to explore new areas which has been exciting, and I created a budgeting app that's been useful. I haven't closed the loop in many of the other projects, but I plan to do better. I consider that a stretch goal.


If you're a productivity nerd like me, you probably read about some of the lessons I learned in a book (or twenty). Setting realistic expectations played a key role in helping me create a sustainable new habit. I "attached" them to something I was already doing before and made it as easy as possible to pick them up with little to no effort (e.g. slowly transforming dog walks to dog runs, writing when I sit at my laptop after dinner). I don't have to think about them anymore, I just do them as part of my routine.

I accepted the fact that burnout can happen, and rather than fighting it and feeling guilty for not having a perfect streak, I used that as an opportunity to learn more about myself. I found out that the quality of my sleep has a tremendous effect on the "easiness" of keeping up with my growth habits. Rather than pushing through lack of sleep so that I can have a "perfect" streak, I take a proper amount of rest and pick up where I left off the day after. I recommend spending more time learning about what's holding you back. Keep a tight feedback loop and adjust accordingly until you find a good balance.

All in all, I feel better both physically and mentally, and I'm excited for what's ahead for the rest of 2024.

← Go Back